Does Microneedling Hurt?

  • What is microneedling?
  • What are the benefits of microneedling?
  • What’s it like to have a microneedling treatment?
  • How long does microneedling last?

In 1995, two doctors discovered that dermal needling could help the body naturally remove scarring and blemishes. The idea was that when the skin is damaged in a controlled, precise way, it stimulates the body to repair itself. That’s the idea behind microneedling, a minimally invasive treatment with little to no downtime, microneedling is safe for all skin types and can be used on many areas of the body.

Dr. Edward J. Gross and his team at Primera Med Spa use the innovative microneedling tool SkinPen, which creates precise micro-punctures at the treatment site to trigger the skin’s natural healing process, generate collagen, and produce safe and long-lasting results. We have answers that will help you understand how microneedling works and how it can help you achieve the skin of your dreams.

What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling uses a special tool to carefully puncture the outermost layer of skin to stimulate the healing process. This promotes the growth of collagen, an important building block of your skin. 

During the microneedling treatment, your provider will precisely run a small sterile tool across the problem area of your skin to create tiny holes in the outer layer of the epidermis. This not only stimulates healing but also allows the provider to apply serums and solvents that reduce inflammation, provide deep purifying, and hydration, to rejuvenate the skin. 

What Are the Benefits of Microneedling?

Even one microneedling treatment can begin to improve your complexion and make your skin glow (though a minimum of 3 treatments is recommended for optimal results). It can also:

  • Lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen and elastin growth in the skin.
  • Help clear breakouts and make acne or other skin scarring (like stretch marks) less noticeable.
  • Reduce the visibility of hyperpigmentation, age spots, and sun damage.
  • Reduce skin ruddiness common in the skin condition known as rosacea.
  • Create a younger look by tightening skin elasticity, brightening dull areas, and plumping skin to shrink pores.
  • Improve the penetration of topical skin products to cleanse, heal, brighten and hydrate.

Another benefit of microneedling is that it requires little downtime when compared to more invasive chemical peels or laser treatments. The positive effects of microneedling also appear quickly within 24-72 hours after the treatment. It takes up to 10 days or so for your skin to bounce back after a chemical peel and up to twice that time when undergoing a laser resurfacing.

While the idea of tiny needles piercing your face or other areas of the body may make you cringe, you may be surprised to find that microneedling is in fact, not painful. 

What’s It Like to Have a Microneedling Treatment?

Microneedling lasts around 20-30 minutes depending on the area to be treated. You will sit comfortably on a treatment bed and your provider will cleanse away any makeup or impurities.

Then, your provider will apply a topical anesthetic cream that will gradually numb your face up to about 45 minutes or so. Once the skin is numb and treatment begins, the provider will use a serum to boost the production of collagen and hydration in your skin. The microneedling process pushes that serum deeper into your skin for some dramatic brightening and toning.

Using a handheld microneedling wand, your provider will slowly permeate the skin. We’ve heard this described as if an electric toothbrush is being held to your face. There is and should be no pain in the areas where there is padding. The worst you might feel is a slight discomfort on the less padded areas of your face, such as the forehead for example. However, the numbing cream you’re wearing should eliminate any painful sensations.

It is normal for microneedling to possibly draw a small amount of blood, but these small dapples appear at the puncture site and are quickly wiped away. After the procedure, your skin will look slightly flushed, red or blotchy,  but you’ll be able to get back to work with no downtime if that’s what you want to do. At the end, your provider will give specific home care instructions and a post treatment kit to help  soothe and nourish the skin for the first 48-72 hours after.

If you’re worried about feeling pain from the microneedling process, we usually counsel patients to avoid the following before their appointment:

  • Any skin products that increase sensitivity such as exfoliants or retinoids
  • Any laser procedures 
  • Sun exposure
  • Shaving or waxing

Preparing the skin in advance with vitamins A, C and E can increase collagen production and heighten the effects of the microneedling procedure. To minimize any discomfort after the numbing cream wears off, you should also:

  • Follow any recovery instructions you are given after the treatment
  • Apply topical serums and lotions to reduce inflammation and hydrate the skin
  • Use only tepid water and a gentle cleanser on the skin for up to 72 hours
  • Avoid direct sun for up to 1 week and wear mineral sunblock when going outside
  • Avoid wearing makeup for up to 72 hours after microneedling and when you do use it, make sure your brushes and sponges are scrupulously clean
  • Avoid exfoliants or harsh cleaners, which will irritate the skin while it’s healing

Any concerns you have can be discussed ahead of your treatment to make sure you feel confident going into the treatment.

How Long Does Microneedling Last?

While every patient is different, generally, the effects of microneedling last up to six weeks after your first session. The tiny pinpricks in your skill should disappear two or three days after the initial session. Your skin will feel much smoother, your pores will be tighter, and any sun or age spots will start to lessen during this time.

The number of treatments (usually a minimum of 3) you may have every year depend on your skin care goals and the areas being treated. We usually see maintenance microneedling sessions scheduled somewhere between six months and a year at our practice once optimal results are achieved. You may want to combine other aesthetic solutions to achieve your goals.

Dr. Edward J. Gross uses innovative microneedling tools to help his patients improve their appearance. Talk to our team today to hear how microneedling can produce safe and long-lasting results for your skin.

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